You don’t need talent

January 14th, 2010

Dear Logan,

I just read this guy’s blog post and I really liked it.

“I am sick of hearing people say, “Oh, I love your code, I wish I could do thatYou can. The only reason you can’t is because you don’t practice enough. I used to think that I wasn’t smart enough. I was jealous of those that did crazy code stuff that I couldn’t even comprehend. Then, one day, I ran into something I did not understand and instead of giving up, I pushed through. I sat there in front of my computer for hours and wrestled with class and class instance variables.

That day was a turning point for me. It was the last time I thought that whether or not I was successful depended on my talent or intelligence. It really comes down to hard work people. Ever since then, I have attacked each thing that I do not understand until I understand it.”

Or, as Calvin Coolidge once said:

 “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

If you want to be successful at almost anything (watch the American Idol auditions for an example of why I added “almost”), persistence is all you need.  Once you understand that, it just becomes a matter of deciding what’s important to you, and deciding how to spend the time that you’ve been given.  Would you rather watch TV or read a book?  Would you rather build something, or talk to a friend?  Would you rather watch Sesame Street or write some code (ok, that one was for me)?  The right answers to those questions all depend on what you decide is important to you.  You can achieve great things at the expense of your time.  But when it comes to time, everyone is on a fixed budget.  So spend it wisely.

A good dad

November 14th, 2009

Dear Logan,

You’ve gotten very interested lately in taking care of things.  You carry your Sesame Street friends around with you everywhere, and you always make sure nobody gets left behind.  You like to take them to bed with you and tuck them in.  You also like to feed them.  Your Mom just told me:

“This morning, he gave his milk a bite of power bar, and his power bar a drink of milk.”

That’s a good dad. 🙂


October 19th, 2009

Dear Logan,

I just read this blog post written by the guy who created GMail.  He somehow manages to tie programming, creating a business, politics, and religion all together, talking about how there’s always a short-cut that can be exploited by taking advantage of the difference between the intended rules and the actual reality of any system.  I thought that he was going to continue to take the analogy into physics, but he didn’t go that far.  Here’s my favorite part of the post:

“The entire process of building a business and having other people and computers do the work for you is a big hack. Nobody ever created a billion dollars through direct physical labor.”

Put another way, I think you could sum up this whole post as “the way to achieve success is to be creative”, but I like his spin on it.  I’d probably revise that to “The way to achieve success is to be creative AND persistent.”


October 18th, 2009

Dear Logan,

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon — do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)

Dance Recital

September 29th, 2009

Dear Logan,

When you were little, people couldn’t share thoughts with each other yet, so when they were not in the same place, they used these programs called “Instant Messengers” to communicate.  Here’s a “IM” conversation I just had with your Mom.

(09:52:37 AM) f98loki: you need to get him on video doing his dance
(09:52:54 AM) timmccune: i know he never wants to perform on camera
(09:53:13 AM) f98loki: so this morning he was fighting w his kitchen
(09:53:18 AM) f98loki: i didnt know why but he was soooooooooo mad
(09:53:25 AM) f98loki: then he finally got it to play the song and he danced adn cheered
(09:53:30 AM) timmccune: hehe
(09:53:35 AM) f98loki: so i cheered for him and danced
(09:53:39 AM) f98loki: he kicked me out of the room
(09:53:41 AM) f98loki: shut the door
(09:53:51 AM) f98loki: but i heard the song again
(09:53:59 AM) f98loki: i peaked in and he was just really getting into it
(09:54:10 AM) f98loki: spinning, high kicks
(09:54:19 AM) timmccune: wow 🙂
(09:54:23 AM) f98loki: then he saw me and got mad
(09:54:25 AM) f98loki: kicked me out again
(09:54:31 AM) timmccune: I’M PRACTICING!!
(09:54:35 AM) f98loki: right
(09:54:43 AM) f98loki: maybe there will be a recital
(09:54:47 AM) timmccune: i hope so

There was one. 🙂

First date

September 13th, 2009

Dear Logan,

You’re turning into quite a brave little guy. You love to climb on everything these days, and you run so fast we have a hard time keeping up with you. When you get really crazy, you shut your eyes, tilt your head back, and run as fast as you can while yelling as loud as you can. I think you’re a pretty happy kid. 🙂

Random interesting stuff: Yesterday, I got hit on by a homeless guy on my jog. Friday, you got woken up from your nap by the Space Shuttle landing.

We had a great trip to Kansas last week. On the flight there, you had a date with the girl in the next row. You get an A+ for how good you were on that flight, but you get an F for the trip home. Your mom bought a pack of cigarettes when we got off the plane. 🙂 We’re going back for Halloween next month. You’d better be good, or we’re going to lock you in the airplane bathroom.

The hero of every guy at El Cholo

July 13th, 2009

Dear Logan,

Last week, we went out to dinner at El Cholo.  While we were eating, a table full of a dozen 20-something girls celebrating a birthday filled up next to us.  You just kicked back in your highchair with your can of funyuns and took it all in.  Then a blonde in a tight black dress made the mistake of getting too close, and without hesitation, you reached out and grabbed her ass.  She didn’t pay much attention to it, but you cracked your parents up.  🙂  And later, a guy from the next table over came by to tell us that you were his hero.  I think he wasn’t the only one thinking that.

Special Delivery!

July 13th, 2009

Dear Logan,

You were just playing with your truck and after it said “Special Delivery!”, you repeated it!  Well, it was more like “Yuh yuh dee li la lee”, but it was still pretty dramatic. 🙂  I thought I should keep track of some more things we’ve heard you say since your first 9 words a couple months ago:

  • I don’t know!
  • What is it?
  • Cookie!
  • Buh bye
  • Get out of here!
  • Special delivery!

Last week when I left for the gym you kept saying “buh bye dada!”  Your cousin Bella has started repeating everything she hears.  So we’re going to have to start watching our mouths. 😉

Happy birthday!

May 25th, 2009

And you smell like one tooooo!

Originally uploaded by timatymusic

Today your Mom gave you a whole can of funyuns and I gave you a whole Special K bar. They both made you very happy. Then we took you to the Promenade to try to watch the movie Earth, but after 5 minutes of watching polar bears, you decided it was time to go. 🙂 But you had a lot of fun running around watching people, listening to music, climbing on clothes racks, and chasing girls.

9 Words

May 12th, 2009

Dear Logan,

Tonight your mom and I counted how many words you know so far and we came up with 9.  Here they are in as good an order as I can remember:

  • Dad
  • Mom
  • No
  • Dog
  • Car
  • Duck
  • Done
  • Again
  • Uh oh (actually “uh uh” :))